Q: What do you do when raisins break or mash during the mixing process?
A: Normally, this is caused by excessive soaking of the raisins. You need to keep the structure of the raisin intact so properly conditioned raisins are essential for quality baked goods. See “Conditioning Raisins.”
Q: What do you do about irregular fermentation of dough containing raisins?
A: Excess free sugar and acid in the dough resulting from crushed fruit or broken skins during the mixing is frequently the cause. Mix the raisins in gently to maintain the integrity and wholeness of the raisin. Excessive amounts of cinnamon in bread may also be a cause of uneven fermentation.
Q: How do you prevent raisins on the outside or crust from charring while baking?
A: Excessive oven temperature is the most common cause. Raisin dough products are best when baked at lower temperatures than conventional breads. A reduction of 25 degrees or more seems to work best. Low pressure steam in the oven will also help eliminate charred raisins.